Friday, September 27, 2013

DUMB, STUPID OR BOTH

Parliament must have been having a very 'senior' moment when they voted back at the time of the last Labour Government for the Greens Party initiative to allow STV voting to be used alongside FPP voting in local body elections.    Dumb move.

Right now seven territorial local bodies and all the District Health Boards have opted to use the STV system for the elections to be decided in two weeks time.

Why dumb move?   Simple, it has led to the situation where the two different systems are featured side by side on a single voting paper.   Up here in the Far North and on pages one and two of the voting paper you vote FPP and on page three you vote STV.   Confusing ... you betcha.

It's ok for those with a more than passing interest in local body politics ... they will probably figure it out.   But for Mr and Mrs Joe Average the chances of them spoiling their vote is high.   You tick the candidates on pages one and two (as you are supposed to)  and there is a fair chance that you will tick the candidates on page three (the DHB election where STV is in force).     I am aware of several people who did just that.

Fascinated to hear from anyone who can point to another country which has dual voting systems on a single voting paper.

And then someone may wish to justify the indefensible.   

6 comments:

Marc said...

In Christchurch we have 4 elections to consider, 3 by FFP, and the DHB by STV. At the top of each voting page, there are CLEAR instructions on how to vote, and a simple diagram of how it should look (tick or number). Honestly, if you can't figure it out, should you even be voting? The right to vote is an important part of our community, and we should at least put some thought into it.

I read that you know several people who got it wrong - is there something that can be done to help prevent this, rather than just changing the whole system so they don't need to read the instructions?

The only suggestion I would make would be to use a different colour on the STV page (say green) so that the different system is highlighted.

The Veteran said...

Marc ... of course you are right. People should read the instructions. Most will.

But spare a thought for that elderly segment of our population (and others) for whom e-banking and EFTPOS remains a mystery.

Transfer that to this situation and it's a recipe for disaster.

I repeat. Can anyone point to any other jurisdiction where they have two separate voting systems on the one paper and then convince me it's a good thing.

Psycho Milt said...

It's all STV in the Manawatu, so only the quality of the candidates is of concern...

The Veteran said...

PM ... then you're fine. I think this duality of voting systems is a recipe for confusion among the elderly.

I personally prefer FPP but whatever, let there be only one system.

Anonymous said...

The Aussies have this quandary when they vote. Two different systems for Federal and the Senate.
They seem to cope all right

The Veteran said...

Anon 1.30 ... I think you'll find they use two separate voting papers, one for the House and a second for the Senate.